Kronos Quartet 40th Anniversary Celebration at Carnegie Hall, March 28
World Premiere by Terry Riley
NY Premiere by Philip Glass
Special Guests: Bryce Dessner, Wu Man, Jherek Bischoff, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, + Musicians from Face The Music
As a highlight of its 40th anniversary season, Kronos Quartet takes the stage in Carnegie Hall’s fabled Stern Auditorium on Friday, March 28 at 8 pm. The one-night-only concert features a world premiere by Terry Riley, and boasts a stellar array of guest artists. Composer Bryce Dessner of The National will play electric guitar on Aheym, the title piece from his acclaimed new Anti- CD of works written for Kronos. Pipa virtuoso Wu Man, a frequent partner, will be heard in the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s Orion: China. Protean indie-rock composer Jherek Bischoff joins in on electric bass for A Semiperfect Number, which he premiered with Kronos last July at Lincoln Center Out of Doors.
Spotlighting Kronos’s commitment to mentoring young artists, the program also includes appearances by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and musicians from Face the Music. Add works by Laurie Anderson, Clint Mansell, and others, and the result is a living snapshot of the ensemble’s singular achievement: “a body of work unparalleled in its range and scope of expression” (NPR).
P R E M I E R E S + H I G H L I G H T S
Terry Riley’s The Serquent Risadrome is his 27th new score for Kronos Quartet, a remarkable collaboration that has spanned more than three decades and resulted in numerous recordings. It takes its title from a “short futuristic tale” he wrote, using mostly made-up words, called The Autodaydreamographical Anteriopod (also the basis for his 2008 work Science Fiction). The Serquent Risadrome was commissioned by Carnegie Hall.
Philip Glass composed Orion for the 2004 Cultural Olympiad in Athens, enlisting leading performer/composers from around the globe to partner with his ensemble. Says Glass, “Orion, the largest constellation in the night sky, can be seen in all seasons from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. It seems that almost every civilization has created myths and taken inspiration from Orion.” For the Orion: China section he collaborated with Wu Man, cited by the Los Angeles Times as “the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western world.” Orion: China was subsequently arranged for pipa and string quartet.
In one of the most unusual collaborations of the evening, Kronos will partner with four young string quartets from Face the Music, forming a small string orchestra for Osvaldo Golijov’s arrangement of El Sinaloense (The Man from Sinaloa) by Mexican composer Severiano Briseño. Face the Music is a program of the Kaufman Music Center, where Kronos Quartet in residence this season. It is the only teen ensemble in the US dedicated to the creation and performance of music by living composers.
Aleksandra Vrebalov’s Bubbles is her fourth score for Kronos, and pairs the quartet with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The title comes from a John Cage quote: “Silence. Sounds are only bubbles on its surface. They burst to disappear.” Vrebalov also sets Robert Creely’s poem The Language, which begins with the lines, “Locate I / love you some- / where in / teeth and eyes, bite / it but take care not / to hurt, you / want so / much so / little. Words / say everything.”
Along with Dessner’s driving, intense Aheym and Bischoff’s exuberant A Semiperfect Number, the program is completed by Laurie Anderson’s meditative Flow; film music by Clint Mansell from Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain, which Kronos recorded for those soundtracks; and arrangements of the traditional Scandinavian folk song Tusen Tankar (arr. by Kronos, trans. by Ljova), Syrian musician Omar Souleyman’s La Sidounak Sayyada (arr. by Jacob Garchik), and early blues singer Geeshie Wiley’s 1930 song Last Kind Words (arr. by Garchik). Additionally, a short documentary celebrating the group's history will be screened for the first time, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green.
T H E P R O G R A M A T - A - G L A N C E
– David Harrington, violin
– John Sherba, violin
– Hank Dutt, viola
– Sunny Yang, cello
Bryce Dessner, guitar
Wu Man, pipa
Jherek Bischoff, bass guitar
Musicians from Face the Music:
– Quartet This Side Up, Pulsar Quartet, Pannonia Quartet, Face the Music Quartet
Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun-Menaker, Artistic Director
ALEKSANDRA VREBALOV Bubbles
BRYCE DESSNER Aheym (Homeward)
TERRY RILEY The Serquent Risadome – World premiere
GEESHIE WILEY Last Kind Words (arr. Jacob Garchik)
OMAR SOULEYMAN La Sidounak Sayyada (I'll Prevent the Hunters from Hunting You)
TRADITIONAL Tusen Tankar (A Thousand Thoughts) (arr. Kronos Quartet, trans. Ljova)
SEVERIANO BRISEÑO El Sinaloense (The Man from Sinaloa) (arr. Osvaldo Golijov)
LAURIE ANDERSON Flow (arr. Jacob Garchik)
PHILIP GLASS Orion: China (arr. Michael Riesman) – NY Premiere
JHEREK BISCHOFF A Semiperfect Number
CLINT MANSELL Lux Aeterna from Requiem for a Dream (arr. David Lang)
CLINT MANSELL Death is the Road to Awe from The Fountain (arr. Kronos Quartet)